16 February, 2016

Want to Embrace Creative Simplicity? A Primer

Want to Embrace Creative Simplicity? A primer from Callaoo Soup

Creative Simplicity has been my mantra for just over a year now. It’s what I keep at the forefront of pretty much everything I do, personal and professional. For me the phrase embodies everything I care about, creativity and simplicity of course, but also mindfulness, intention, slow and simple living, and living an authentic life.

But you might be wondering what this actually looks like in real life, and how you can incorporate creative simplicity in your life. Here are ten ideas to consider.

Start a journal

Whether a written journal and art journal, a journal you write in daily, weekly or monthly, or even a ready made journal you can fill in, getting things down on paper is the simplest way to get a better feel for what’s going on in your head.

Clear out the Clutter, even from just one spot

Nothing says simplicity like a clutter free space, and even if it’s just one spot, like your desk or work table, your creative mind will thank you for that clarity.

Pick a simple challenge and do it for 30 days

Emphasis on simple. In January I did the 31 Things to Draw Class at Creative Bug, and got my year off to a beautifully simple creative start.

Read, read, and read some more

Nuff said right? Want some suggestions? Try here, here or here

Go for a walk – turn off your smart phone, and let your mind wander

I can’t begin to tell you the number of amazing ideas I’ve had while out for a walk. I’ve lived in both the city and the country, and the surroundings don’t seem to matter.

Try a new art or craft – focus on the process, not the result

My weekly art class, where we try something new just about every week, has led my mind to an explosion of creative ideas. For the most part the teacher is focused on the process, not the result, which is refreshing.

Appreciate the everyday

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”– Kurt Vonnegut

And might I add, take a photo if possible?

Play an imaginary game with a child

I’m amazed at my son’s ability to be completely in the moment of whatever scenario he has come up with. I’ve learnt quite a few lessons from him!

Start a collection of unusual objects

Unusual and might I also suggest cheap? This is not about museum quality, this is about surrounding yourself with things that make you smile, and express your uniqueness.

Listen (and dance) to your favourite music.

This is another one I can thank my son for. He goes through phases with music (currently it’s Abba) and we have had the best dance parties lately! There’s nothing like shaking your booty to make you appreciate life!

What simple little things do you do to express your creative simplicity? Join a tribe of creative women this April and take on the 30 Day Creative Simplicity challenge! It’s free and fun! Get all the details here.






10 Simple Ways to Get back in Touch With Your Creative Simplicty-01
  • Love your tips on simplicity. I love the last one about listening to your favorite music. I have my favorite play lists on Spotify that I jam out to as soon as I get in my car after a crazy work day. Cheers!

    • Thanks! I had another jam session to Abba with my son today. Felt so good!

      • My daughter is grown now, but she sure used to love the disco tunes when she was little! She thought I could dance then. She knows better now. 🙂

  • malia

    These are very helpful tips. Thank you!

  • Yes, love these tips! Thank you!

  • I love this post, Francine! I’m going to keep that term “creative simplicity” as a mantra and goal for myself. I read this post at just the right time. I’m really gaining from many of the same suggestions you make here: freewriting, reading, and imaginary play with my kids. They work! I’ll use this as reinforcement to keep this all up. Looking forward to sharing this…

    • Thank you Julie! I’m glad it was helpful, as I always get so much from your posts 🙂 These things have really helped me to nail down what is most important about my creativity.

  • I seriously need to focus on more of this. I’ve been terrible about any of it, and I’m feeling the wear of lack of creativity eat away at me. That’s when I start feeling so burnt out on everything.

    • I know what you mean, getting back to the basics like this is good for the creative soul.

  • Such a good way to get back into the creative swing! 🙂

    • Yes! This would be an excellent jumpstart

  • Les @ The Balanced Berry

    I love your “focus on the process not the result” point. I know I get really hung up on having the perfect outcome to things, and less pressure to be perfect would definitely help my creative process!

    • I learned that lesson from my son 🙂 One day we were working with one of those learn to draw books, where they show steps to draw doodles. He could care less if his bird or cat looked exactly like the picture, he just had a total blast doing the drawing!

  • Michelle Schroer

    I LOVE these suggestions, Francine! I especially love the simple challenge for 30 days tips. Thanks for sharing these!

  • Nancy Gaines

    Great ideas, Francine! ♡